Gambling can be a fun activity that offers a rush of excitement when things go your way. But it can also be harmful if you’re not careful about it. The good news is that there are ways to avoid gambling problems, and many people who suffer from gambling disorders find help to stop it.
If you have a child that is gambling, the best thing to do is to talk with them about it. It’s important to tell them that it could be unhealthy and to ask them to consider alternatives. This will help them avoid problem gambling and it can also help you to understand what they are doing when they gamble.
You may need to make some changes to your family’s habits so that your child doesn’t get into trouble with gambling. For example, you might need to limit the amount of money they spend on gambling or you might have to encourage them to participate in other activities that are more healthy and rewarding for them.
Your child’s age and gender can also influence their risk of developing a gambling problem. Children who are very young might be more at risk, for example, if they have a lot of stress or if they don’t have much contact with other kids their age.
The more your child is exposed to poker machines, the lottery, scratchy cards and sports bets, the higher their risk of developing a problem with gambling will be. If you are worried about your child’s gambling, speak to their GP or call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858. You can also call the Gambler’s Help Youthline on 1800 262 376 or Lifeline on 131 114.
Family and friend influence can also increase the risk of your child developing a problem with gambling. For instance, your child might start to think that they can’t resist the temptation of gambling because it is a socially acceptable way of spending money. They might also hide their gambling from you, or they may refuse to take responsibility for it.
They might also use the gambling as a way of coping with a stressful situation. For instance, they might try to escape a bad relationship by gambling. They might also gamble to feel better about themselves when they’re depressed or angry.
A person who has a gambling problem needs to seek professional help from a therapist or support group as soon as possible, as the disorder can be hard to treat on your own. If you are worried about your child’s or a friend’s gambling, it is important to act quickly and take steps to prevent problems from occurring.
Addiction can be very difficult to overcome, but there are many people who have beaten the addiction and are living happy, healthy lives. It’s also important to be aware of the signs that a problem is forming and to contact someone for advice as early as possible.
The good news is that there are many organisations across Australia that offer assistance, counselling and support to those who have a gambling problem. These organisations vary in size and purpose, but their aim is to control or stop gambling and to provide support for those affected by the addiction.